Courage Needed – Heads Up In The Darkness

Way Truth LifeCourage

It is required now and in the days ahead. Light in Christ flowing through our lives into the intense darkness all around us. This requires courage and conviction to rise up in Kingdom Reality.

To KNOW that we are in Christ and He has overcome death and the grave.

To BE Christ in the darkness knowing that He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.

To MOVE in Him with intentionality and purpose, not shirking back in fear.

Wherever there is darkness, the smallest bit of light will overcome it. Truth brings light into the darkness. Do we know this deep within us? Or do we adapt to the shifting shadows in the hope that no confrontation or challenge will come our way? The days ahead will challenge our beliefs on many different levels and this will require courage on our part to rise above the chaos.

The simplest things will provoke provocation and anger in those around us.

To stand up in the reality that Jesus Himself said:

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6

This is a radical statement, and one that will be contested on every side. Many will proclaim our arrogance in even saying it. Many will say that we are outrageously presumptuous to even think it. Yet, the fact remains……Jesus said it and it is truth.

Living it out. Walking it out. We fear neither death nor shirk from life itself. Life moves us out in courage and boldness. We know that we ARE seated in heavenly places. We ARE hidden in Christ. He has overcome death and the grave. That makes us courageous.

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3

To know Him – that sets a path in the darkness. No need to fear. No need to worry. There is a light there as we walk in faith. His glory is increasing throughout the earth.

For your light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you………..Is. 60:1-2

Wherever you are today, rise up in the knowing that He is Lord. Be still and know this to navigate the waters of persecution or mockery you may be facing. Be still and know this to go through times of chaos that challenges your faith, hoping to pull you under or knock you out of the race. Be still and know He is Lord. It’s about to get real folks!

Debra And Chloe

Living in Passion and Purpose In Christ,
Debra

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Prophets – In Deep Waters

Ocean WaveHere I am in deep waters, far away from any sign of land. Waves surge up and down, settling me briefly into watery valleys that hinder my vision. I hope to see some glimpse of land, some reference point that would lead me up and away from the deep waters into the shallows of what is familiar and comfortable. Yet, each time I rise up, the view is the same – more waves and a vast expanse of sky that causes me to feel a spiritual vertigo. If I look too long without anything to focus on, I feel a bit dizzy in this new place.

How did I get here? Well, I cried out a simple prayer, “More Lord.” When that prayer reached a crescendo, rising into the ears of God, He lifted me up and brought me out into the deep to call me unto Himself.

Despite my disdain for religion and my dislike for the mundane, at least the shallow waters lent themselves to some sort of fellowship and preaching. Out here there’s nothing. No distractions. It’s just the sound of the waves as the wind swirls around me.

To stay afloat, I can tread water but that gets tiring over time. How long will that keep me afloat anyway?

Nothing to lean on. Nowhere to go. It’s just me and the wind and the waves. What purpose does this serve? How does this fit into God’s mighty plan for my life?

I knew it would come to this. After all, when I cried out “More Lord” what did I expect? To be drawn up in the midst of churchianity or to be drawn out into the deep?

For years, a discontent grew within my whole being whenever I entertained the thought of church – business as usual, mundane boring programs, performance driven worship teams or leadership that micromanaged everything down to the last minute. This discontent almost killed me. It was at this point that God whispered into my being. “If you want to go deeper, you have to be drawn into the deep waters.”

Water flowingWhen it first happens, loneliness sets in along with a penchant to stay alive by any means possible. You know what I’m talking about if you are following along with this by the Spirit. Thinking that this won’t last too long or that God will let me go back to the safety of the shoreline. You get that right?

But as the waves come and go, I realize that it’s impossible to have both – sanctimonious religion and God ordained, Spirit led, Jesus loving relationship. It’s impossible for desire and passion to grow in environments self-serving to man’s agenda without any regard to precious Holy Spirit.

When drawn into the deep by the hand of God, there is only one thing to do. Release, let go and allow Him to pull you down into His depths. There is no returning to normalcy after that. When I release myself to the hand of God and He pulls me under, I have only one recourse of action left in my life.

Release everything to Him. Trust Him.

What’s the alternative? Catching a wave back into shore, splashing around in the shallows with those who want nothing more from God than the latest conference or next trendy worship CD. There are no options left for me.

I release myself into the depths of my Lord.

Over time, I discover a new paradigm takes over. What was focused years ago on external Christianity in the realm of performance, agenda and works is now focused on being in union with Christ, so that my life flows in Christ………..as He is, so am I in the world. This reality infuses my life with His life. It is Christ in me. Christ in me.

It is in the depths, the deep waters, that I find truth, the person of Christ in the depths of His love, His grace and His mercy flowing into my life.

God calls prophets into the deep waters for seasons of increased revelation, growth and maturity. It is a pulling aside, going deeper, intimate times with God apart from the routine and ritual that religious Christianity brings.

Prophets in deep waters love God and love His people. The deep is necessary to strengthen the message that will resonate through every fiber of our being. It is a call to love God wholeheartedly with our whole mind, body and soul, forsaking anything the world offers that tries to take the place of God. Our message is fine-tuned here, uncompromised, not conforming to standard or ritual.

What is the message you may ask? Is it some mysterious revelation that sets us apart? Is it some new teaching that will draw others to us, eyes wide open, gazing in admiration at us and our anointing?

It’s quite simple. It is the centrality of Christ; Jesus being all in all with every prophetic utterance issuing forth a revelation of the preeminence and glory, in the person of Christ.

In the deep, He forms the hearts before He fashions the words coming from our lives. Each word has its beginning and ending in the person of Jesus Christ. Our lives are changed. He is our all in all.

The deep brings a reality that forms in us and lives through us in Christ. We may be called back into the shallows and back onto land but the revelation imparted here will be the foundation of our lives. Radical prophets submitted to God, loving people and challenging the very nature of the church, as we know it.

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor? Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to him? For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:33-36

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. Colossians 1:15-18

Debra

Living with Passion and Purpose in Christ,
Debra
About Me
Rivers of Eden Ministry
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It Won’t Always Be Safe – It’s A Journey of Faith

Here we are in Raleigh, North Carolina. First impression – so beautiful!

It’s our journey of faith and it’s a journey that isn’t always safe and comfortable! 

This past year faith opened my eyes to see that change is my default position. Change guides my daily routine, how I organize my days in the Holy Spirit. Change led us this year, one step at a time to move to North Carolina from Texas. One year ago God simply said, “Head east!”

Never Lose A Holy CuriosityI believed Him and wanted to obey but still struggled inside with a bit of fear.  In all my life, I never conceived of living on the East Coast.

Obedience requires sacrifice on many levels. As the struggle inside me died, the way became clear. As I submitted to His plan, the path opened up one step at a time.

This is our life! We are three hours ahead of you California. We still love you and always will. California will always be in my heart…always. Can you see that I still miss it? My life in the Spirit was formed there.

Is this our last move? I’m not sure. I’m not looking too far ahead. Right now, God calls us to settle into this area, giving our time and our anointing to build up God’s people.

My life message is creativity and journey in Holy Spirit. In creativity, Holy Spirit led us in the journey to get here.

Divine connections landed on our path in the most random places as we were seeking God for confirmation. Meeting people while in Texas that were from North Carolina. There they were, right in front of us (in dog parks, while taking a walk) to encourage us and challenge us in our journey of faith.

Dreams played into my sleep indicating a new way. I woke up with a knowing but remained quiet before the Lord.

Signs in the natural dropped onto our path. We laughed at some of them as God has a sense of humor and speaks to us so individually and creatively that we know it is Him talking to us. I’ll blog about the dimes in a few days.

It’s been a quiet journey to get us to this point. I didn’t talk about it much. I didn’t blog about this journey to get to today.  I wanted to write but God kept restraining my hand and my life to be still and trust Him. I felt out of the mix, on the move, wondering, asking but more in love with Him than anything that would stop me from following my Lord wherever He leads.

A new sound, a sure voice is rising up as I follow His path for my life.

It seems that there is a new migration of people shifting and moving in America. We are meeting so many New Yorkers here in Cary, North Carolina. Lots of Californians. Feels great to be here – God is moving! Are you where you are supposed to be? Location is very important in these days. Be perfectly positioned and placed in Christ and in the earth.

This is a journey of faith. It won’t always be safe. Enjoy this journey with me. I want to impart faith to sons and daughters of God to step out, to risk it all and to follow Holy Spirit.

Debra

 

Living with Passion and Purpose In Christ,
Debra

Please share this with those needing to be challenged to journey in faith and obedience  in Christ.

I’d love  to speak at your gathering, conference or home group, please send me a message on the contact page or email me at westbrook.debra@gmail.com Please visit Rivers of Eden Ministry page to find out something About Us.

Run Your Race! Get Moving!

Penny Chenery, Secretariat’s owner, gives a great line in the movie. Right before the last race, the Triple Crown, she says “I’ve run my race. Now go out and run yours.”

And run He did, with such an excellence that He left them all behind, not just to win but to win big. He ran His race. And, it was a very long race. Unchallenged and strong, he did not look back or slow down but kept running because it was in his creative makeup to run. He was born for this race.

I watched this movie again yesterday. God often uses movies to speak into my life. He truly used this one. I cried at the end and I am not a big crier. In fact, at the end of the movie, my husband looked at me and asked, “Are YOU crying?” I was. It struck a deep chord in my life, a resonance connecting with heaven.

Jesus ran His race and now it’s time to run ours with passion, persistence and confidence to know that we are born into such a time as this.

Hebrews 12:1-3 (MSG) Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. 2 Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. 3 When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!This beats in my heart. When God stirs passion with a word, I know it’s meant for others. I usually walk out the message that God is birthing in my life. 

Run your race. Run it strong. Run it focused. Run from a deep inner passion to know that you know, you are called to run. Run with excellence. Even as I am writing this today, I feel such an anointing of life and light on these words for those who will take them as their own, believe them and take action to see the manifestation in their own lives.

To those feeling ignored or disqualified. Run YOUR race.

To those ready but strapped down by past failures. Run YOUR race.

To those who think their best days are behind them. Run YOUR race.

This relates to many of you. It’s time to run.

Tap into that inner resolve that lives inside of you, Christ in you, the hope of glory. Tap into His grace and strength. Submit to His way, not your way. Believe that anything is possible in Christ…anything He calls us to do is already resident within us, our destiny and empowered by our faith in Him.

2017 – Run……….faith to see and believe in the possibilities that are in God in Christ AND the obedience to walk it out and risk being comfortable.

By the way, I am running this out with each one of you, too.

Debra

Living with Passion and Purpose in Christ,

Debra

What Is Truth?

cropped-cropped-istock_000026317800medium2.jpgWhat is truth? Great minds have thought about this for thousands of years. Can I make it simple? Jesus is truth. Not ‘a’ truth. Not one truth out of many. Jesus is truth – the person of Christ, the living Word.

Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him. You’ve even seen him!” John 14:6-7

Truth is simple. It’s a beautiful door waiting to be opened. Step across the threshold into a new world, a new paradigm where Holy Spirit activates spiritual senses to see and hear. Eyes are opened to see a way that opens up in Christ, challenging us to live beyond the natural chaos. It’s called kingdom and it’s my home, now.

When I look around and see all the chaos, I know that this is not my home. I physically live in this realm but over and over I remind myself that I am seated in heavenly places. In that truth, I move in a new reality in Christ. That is the heart of my message and how I live my life in Christ.

Holy Spirit is with me always, revealing Christ to me in different ways, at different times and in diverse places. Holy Spirit shows me how to navigate the waves that threaten to pull me under into the depths of confusion, fear and worry. I don’t go there. And, if the day starts out less than perfect, I remind myself through prophetic declaration that I live in another reality. I prophesy to myself. I speak life and truth to myself. I prophesy Jesus to ME, through ME and in ME. I don’t forget I am in the world but neither do I forget that I am not of the world.

I feel pain. I face fear. Through it all, my eyes are focused on the temporariness of this life and the eternal reality of my life in Christ. That gives me hope and a future despite what I see and feel around me at any given moment.

The Spirit reveals truth and that truth is Jesus Christ. He’s real and He’s alive. Truth is on the move in every corner of the world. He gives Holy Spirit to me so that I access truth in a world in chaos.

But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. 14 He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you. 15 Everything the Father has is also mine. That is why I’ve said, ‘He takes from me and delivers to you.’ John 16:13-15

Darkness invades my thought life with so many ‘what ifs’. What if I lose my job? What if I have cancer? Fear surrounds me today on all sides and in every way possible. There are a million ways of attack, seeking to paralyze my life in the now instead of the eternal reality of life in Christ.

breaking chainsHowever darkness chooses to take form, there is truth in Christ.

Meditate on this truth.

Truth confronts darkness. Truth displaces darkness.

Almost daily, insecurity, obscurity, insignificance, terror, worry, anxiety or anger tries to invade the safety of my life. TV, social media, radio. The enemy is active. Jesus Himself said he is like a lion seeking whom he may devour. In Christ Jesus there is life and that life flows in direct contradiction to all evil tries to throw at me – security, hope, peace, and rest.

Truth builds strength within me. Christianity is not weak. It is strong. I lose my life to find my life in Christ.

Truth roots itself in and through my life, building a strong belief system. Weaving its way through my DNA forming an identity that rises above the darkness to live in eternal light. Even the smallest glimmer of light displaces the darkness that tries to encroach on my God ordained identity.

What is truth? The person of Christ Jesus. Not a formula, a doctrine, a belief system. A person – Jesus Christ.

Debra

 

In Christ,
Debra